Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cleaning Day Revelation

I just returned from my favorite late-night destination. I can be there after just two flights (of stairs) and I always return feeling a little lighter.

Predictably, Calvin is on his back, arms splayed up and out across the pillow. No blankets. He's a stationary sleeper and it's a good thing, because he shares his twin bed with his dog Biscuit/Caramel/Caramel Biscuit/Gordy, Brave the teddy and Stripey the kitten. And his airplane blankie. And his Mommy shirt.

One door down, Ruby is found cross-ways on the bed, often shirtless, hair even wilder in the moonlight. Though it's obvious that she likes it best that way, I can never resist the urge to shift her up to her pillow and pull the sheet over her shoulders.

Silas is a side-sleeper. He moves from end to end in his crib, and always lugs his big-people pillow with him when he goes. I marvel at his grown-up tendency to shift that thing around in his cage. He asks for juice solely in grunts and gestures, but he can make his own bed, thankyouverymuch.

Every single night, we tuck them in. We make sure they are safe and comfortable and adored. Just a few hours later, we do it all again. Round two doesn't even register for them.


A few days ago I found myself with an empty house and two hours to clean it top-to-bottom for a showing. I moved all of the chairs into the living room to mop then sat for just a moment at the computer.

Three minutes later, I was wrecked.

My tears were not the silent kind. They were soul-bruising, desperate. They were wholly unexpected, which made them fatter, heavier. It was clear to me, all over again, that this was neither pretend, nor haphazard. It wasn't even PMS.

This was the reaching through to my very core and turning a key. And with every crank, my heart softens. It struck me that these bruises will not eventually fade from purple to jaundiced green to just the memory of a bang-up. These will pile up, purple on purple on purple.

The last tear lingered and grew, then leaped from my chin to the smack-dab middle of my chest. My soul measured its weight.

I walked over, puffy-eyed, my heart an achy wound, and I grabbed my mop. I prayed words of gratitude for my moment of clarity. This is one part of what I was made for. The certainty of the truth giving purpose to the bruises.

And now?

Now it's your turn.

Thank you, Jami, for sharing this with me. Your own bruised-up heart is purely beautiful.